Ethereum Strengthens Polish City’s Emergency Services

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In Brief
  • A Polish city has implemented an Ethereum smart contract to assist Emergency Services

  • Now firefighters, police, and medical services will be able to unlock doors securely

  • It claims to be the first city to take such a large step towards being a "smart city" of the future

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The Polish city of Olsztyn is using an Ethereum smart contract to run its emergency services. It claims to be the first city to do so.

Rushing to a burning building will now involve an Ethereum smart contract in the Polish city of Olsztyn



The municipality wanted a way to streamline building access for emergency services. To do so, they used a blockchain connection platform called SmartKey. This platform was then associated with a Teltonika brand smart key, that is, a device (which can be an app) carried by personnel.

According to Securityinformed.com, the device allows police, firefighters, and emergency medical workers to unlock any door connected to the network. Because the technology uses a distributed ledger, it is very hack-resistant, and is unlikely to be compromised.



Now, Olsztyn’s municipal services will not have to wait for permission or track down keyholders when trying to enter buildings. 

Gustaw Marek Brzezin, Marshall of Warmia-Mazury province, of which Olsztyn is the capital city, noted that balancing privacy and security was a difficult subject. This holds true especially when it comes to the government and emergency services. However, he explained the usefulness of blockchain in these situations: 

The use of blockchain and SmartKey technology seems to be like the perfect solution, giving reassurance to building owners and inhabitants, but also freedom for our emergency services.

Smart Cities

In implementing this system, Olsztyn can lay claim to being the first “smart city.” Such cities try to use emerging technologies to promote efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and, some claim, sustainability. 

Krzysztof Jurołajć, a paramedic in Olsztyn, who has been using the system

But it is not all emergency services and locked doors. Using this technology, cities can theoretically improve energy efficiency, traffic, air quality and more. With cars and streets connected via low-volume wifi, traffic lights could better serve actual traffic. Also, garbage collectors could focus on key hotspots of waste, rather than going through the same route every week. 

For its part, Poland has been somewhat open to blockchain. In 2019, a large Polish bank said it would use Ethereum smart contracts for document verification. 

The “Internet of Things” In Real Life

This is all part of the “Internet of Things” (IOT). These technologies claim to improve life as we know it in the future by making all kinds of devices aware of one another.

However, having everything connected all the time comes at a price. Privacy could be compromised. Certainly, the massive amounts of data Google or Apple has on regular citizens is already staggering.

Likewise, BeInCrypto previously reported that in real use, the IOT does make common devices vulnerable to attack.

Blockchain technology may offer a solution. While keeping privacy, distributed ledgers allow for secure record keeping while veiling identity. 

Some blockchain projects, such as IOTA, serve these growing needs. But Olsztyn is just one city, and it has just been implemented. Only time will tell how the promises hold up.

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Harry Leeds is a writer, editor, and journalist who spent much time in the former USSR covering food, cryptocurrencies, and healthcare. He also translates poetry and edits the literary magazine mumbermag.me.

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